Monday, October 11, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

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Monday's roll around so fast don't they.  Especially when you have had a busy weekend filled with fall crisp air (well sort of...).  We ate al fresco last night, the cooler evenings with just a little breeze a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean gives it that fall feeling.  Have you been sharing meals outside lately? Those of us in the south are still firing up our grills.  I love that!  This is why we call this paradise, right?

Here are the dinners my family will look forward to this week.  No particular order-just five meals that are planned and shopped for already.  Leftover Buffet always makes it mark one of our nights or for lunches, just depending on when the fridge starts getting stuffed with plastic containers-

  • Grilled Pizza Flatbreads (make your own-we have vegetables, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sweet sausage, fresh basil, feta cheese), Roasted Vegetables and Apples

  • Grilled Beer Brats, Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Pumpkin (pre-made when roasted vegetables), Fresh Fruit

  • Taco Salad or Hardshells, Yellow Rice, Cut Peaches

  • Chicken Cutlets-Parmesan Syle, Wagon Wheel Pasta with Garlic and Fresh Basil, Fresh Fruit

  • Ham Steak, Granny Smith Applesauce, roasted carrots

This week's menu doesn't have any specific recipes.  Except I am going to explain my process of roasting vegetables.

Roasted Vegetables- this is my favorite way to get them in my diet, and cook up large batches for the week for lunch or dinner recipes.

I start out with a generous size baking sheet {like a jelly roll, or small lipped cookie sheet}, I personally like to cook on clay stoneware, we can talk more on that later. 

Any seasonal vegetables:
i.e. - Fall: squashes (acorn, pumpkin, zucchini {remember I live south}), large sweet onion or red, fresh garlic (whole pieces or halve the bulb), sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold {my favorite variety) potaoes, asparagus, (you can even add a few apples-as I did this week for my menu).

+ADD+ your favorite seasoning - {we're still going with fall for the example}, sea salt, fresh ground pepper, chopped garlic, fresh rosemary, a few sprinkles of cinnamon, cloves, ginger or apple/pumpkin pie spice-

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Give a swirl of olive oil or any light flavor oil on your baking sheet.  Chop the vegetables in big pieces {they shrink}(except potatoes- you can cut them a medium cube).  Toss with favorite spices and flavors for your complimenting recipes.  Add a little more oil to the top of the vegetables, and bake for about 20-30 minutes or depending on what your vegetables are - potaotes take a little longer.  Check that they are fork tender.  You can always remove the softer ones before or add to pan later.

Serve hot or at room temperature.  Save for pizza toppings, pasta recipes, crusty vegetable sandwich, or other recipes for your week.  I try to make a large batch at a time so I can continue to use all week.  *Side note- you can also follow the instructions, but roast on your outdoor grill in a grilling basket.

Seasoning Ideas according to meals:

Italian Cooking: Toss with fresh garlic, rosemary sprigs, orgeano, parsley, basil, olive oil, Italian salad dressing, Balsalmic vinegar, sea salt, ground pepper-top with parmesan when they come out.

Greek Cooking: Toss with fresh lemon halves/quarters, oregano, chopped garlic, sea salt, ground pepper, parsley, olive oil, top with a little feta.

Southwestern:  Toss with chili powder, cumin (go easy), sea salt, ground pepper, onion powder, parsley, olive, oil, top with fresh cilantro when they come out.

Latin Flavor:  Toss with fresh limes quartered, sour oranges, fresh garlic, coriander, mojo marinade, olive oil, cumin (go easy), top with queso blanco (latin white crumbling cheese).

What do you like to FLAVOR your vegetables with, maybe just plain salt and pepper?  Try something new - Let everyone know!

My favorite by far is the fall flavors-a little cinnamon, and all the others mentioned above in the fall example.


  1. Your menu looks great. I always have tea in the afternoon.
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your menu sounds really good! I will have to try out the roasted veggies this week along side my menu, thank you for sharing your idease!


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